PLUS 12 PAGES MAGAZINE HUBBALLI SUNDAY JULY 22, 2018 `7.00 PAGES 28 CITY EDITION RACE FOR ROYALTY CONTINUES KNOTTING STRINGS OF HOPE The third part of the romantic thriller drama franchise, Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, will see the fight getting intense Kashmiri artist Insha Manzoor’s installation at Fort Kochi takes inspiration from the fishermen of the backwaters UNIVERSITY OF INGENUITY A veterinarian takes to storytelling to help farmers across Odisha adopt new ways of using natural resources for sustainable agriculture SEX, CRIME & CELLULOID COVER STORY The exposure of an international prostitution ring involving south Indian actresses, models and television anchors has put the spotlight on sexual predators lurking in the underbelly of the southern film world EXCLUSIVE VOICES T J S George Shankkar Aiyar ■ Prabhu Chawla ■ ■ CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Woman among 4 questioned in Shiroor Mutt seer death case EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Udupi Police on Saturday questioned a few people who were associated with Shiroor Mutt seer Lakshmivara Theertha who died at a hospital in Manipal on Thursday. Police have filed a case of unnatural death following suspicions raised over the fifty-four-year-old seer’s death. Police have so far questioned four people, including a woman who visited the mutt frequently, a servant at the mutt and a cook. They are also examining the CCTV camera footage from the mutt. SP Laxman Nimbargi denied reports of the police detaining anyone in the case. ‘’So far, we have only questioned a few people to gather details and nobody has been detained,” he told reporters on Saturday while requesting the media not to “sensationalise” the case. Police sources told TNIE that Forensic Science Laboratory report from Mangaluru is likely to arrive in 10-12 days. Meanwhile, there are also reports that the seer’s death could have been linked to property dealings. A few months back, the seer had complained at his Moola Mutt near Hiriyadka in the district as well as before a “spirit worshipper” that two builders had cheated him. It is said that the seer had organised a special nema (a ritual) for deities three months ago, and told the performer of the Bhoota Kola ritual that two Mumbai-based builders were harassing him by not paying `26 crore due to him. Police, however, refused to confirm this theory and said investigation was under way . GST COUNCIL MEETING With eye on 2019, govt slashes tax on 100 items No GST on sanitary napkins; white goods to be cheaper EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi IN order to woo the middle class ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the government on Saturday slashed GST rates on over 100 products and services, including 17 white good items including refrigerator and TV . The GST Council has now put sanitary napkins under the exempted category. The new rates will come into effect from July 27. After a nine-hour-long meeting of the GST Council, chaired by Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, the government decided to exempt GST also on deities made of stone, marble or wood, Raakhis without precious metals, raw material used in brooms, commemorative coins and fortified milk and the premium paid under Ayushman Bharat Scheme. The government reduced tax rates on an array of daily use appliances and products, including the daily household items like small TV, washing machine, refrigerator, paint, perfume, footwear up to `1,000, and handicraft items including handmade bags. Big relief for hotels as GST rate of 28% will not apply if the actual tariff value is less than `7,500 even though the published tariff may be more than that. “The focus was on relieving middle class and simplification of the process. The reduction will have nominal impact on the revenue,” Piyush Goyal told media after the meeting, adding that 100 items will be impacted by this change today . The Council came up with simplified filing of returns for the businesses, which will cost the government revenue loss up to `14,000-15,000 crore. The Council decided that taxpayers with turnover up to Rs 5 crore will continue to pay monthly tax, but will have to only file returns once in a quarter, which according to government will relieve 93% taxpayers. Major changes NO GST Sanitary napkins Sal leaves Raw material used in brooms Raakhis, without any precious metals Deities made of stone, marble or wood FROM 12% TO 5% Handloom items Fertiliser grade phosphoric acid FROM 18% TO 5% E-books The focus was on relieving middle class and simplification of the process Piyush Goyal Taxpayers who are yet to register under GST will be given one final extension till August 31 and any late penalty will be waived. The government has deferred Reverse charge mechanism for one year. The GST Council will meet next on August 4 to discuss the problems faced by small traders and businesses and entrepreneurship. Banking and IT services that are exported Footware up to L1,000 FROM 28% TO 18% Washing machine Refrigerator Grinder, mixer Water cooler Hand dryer Cosmetics Vacuum cleaner Varnishes Paint Rates effective from July 27 1 dead as cow vigilantes strike in Alwar again E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Jaipur of people suspected they were cow smugglers and beat them up, BARELY a week after the Su- leaving Akbar with fractured preme Court urged Parliament to ribs and injuries to his hands. He enact a law against lynching, a collapsed while talking to the pomob in Rajasthan’s Alwar dis- lice and was declared dead at the trict killed a man on Friday CHC hospital in Ramgarh. night, on suspicion that he was Two persons standing nearby with two cows were interrogated smuggling cows. and arrested, the police At 12:40 am on Saturday the police heard that , said, adding that a case two persons were smughas been re gistered against unidentified peogling cows from Raple under sections jasthan to Haryana by foot. By the time they 321/18, 143, 341, 323, 302, and 34 of the IPC. reached the spot, near Alwar district was in Lalawandi in Ramgarh, Akbar Khan the news in April last year one of the men, Akbar after another man, Pehlu Khan (28), was seriously Khan, was lynched on suspicion of injured. He told the police that he and cow smuggling. While the accused his friend Aslam had bought two were let off lightly, Khan and his cows from Laadpur and were go- family still face cases under the ing to their village in Haryana’s Bovine Act. Last November, the Mewat district, according to a re- body of one Umar Khan was found lease from the office of the Addi- in the region. He too was allegedly tional DG, Jaipur Range. A group killed by cow vigilantes. RAJ TEEN GETS DEATH FOR RAPING INFANT A court in Alwar has awarded death penalty to a 19-year-old who raped a 7-month-old. He was convicted under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2018, Rajasthan’s first such conviction and India’s third | P7 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru SENIOR Congress leaders on Saturday asked their party members to start preparing for the Lok Sabha election, which according to them, is likely be held this December. “We have information that the Centre is advancing Lok Sabha polls and it will be held in December. A notification is likely to be issued in October,” Kar nataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu N A U S H A D B I J A P U R @ Belagavi College students gather on the roof of a building as flood water enters their houses after heavy rains, at Jayadev Vihar in Bhubaneswar on Saturday | PTI A flood alert has been sounded in most of the flood-prone areas of Belagavi district following heavy discharge of water from dams in neighbouring Maharashtra. Public Administration Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi chaired a meeting of senior officials of Belagavi region in Chikkodi on Saturday to discuss immediate measures to be taken up to tackle possible floods in Belagavi region. “The region will certainly see flooding once Maharashtra starts releasing additional water from the border dams into the rivers. I have information that all their water sources, including the Koyna, are already full,’’ Jarkiholi said. Already, several low-lying bridges in Chikkodi, Athani and Raibag have submerged owing to the Krishna overflowing even as the region recorded not much rainfall in the last one week. Belagavi district authorities confirmed that the water level in most of the dams and rivers in Belagavi has shot up drastically owing to the release of water from Maharashtra. STUNNING FIND `550 cr worth of stash tumbles out of club member’s lockers HUGE HAUL A 3.90cr A15L Cash A7.80 cr worth jewellery 650 gm of gold A 30-35L worth Peugeot wrist watch worth Rolex wrist watch Bags also contained about six files pertaining to large properties around Devanahalli and Begur E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Bengaluru A routine exercise of freeing up lockers at the famous Bowring Institute club in the city led to a shock discovery of cash, jewellery and property documents, all worth around `550 crore, from three of them. The lockers belonged to a member who has been with the club since 1993. To top it, the club secretary was allegedly offered inducements to return the property files. Bowring Institute, in a bid to free up lockers for its members, had been asking those who had been allotted lockers to regularise them for some time. After sending out notices several times to such members, the lockers of those who did not respond were forcibly opened by the club office-bearers on Thursday What they . uncovered left them stupefied. Honorary secretary of the Institute, H S Srikanth, said three lockers allotted to Avinash Amarlal Kukreja, which were broken open, revealed six bags. “On Thursday the club’s employees found the 6 , bags in Kukreja’s locker and informed me, after which I informed DCP (Central) Chandragupta. We suspected that cash and jewellery WAJAHAT HABIBULLAH Former Chief Information Commissioner EX-CIC QUESTIONS NEED FOR RTI CHANGES T he central government’s move to amend the RTI Act, 2005, which will empower it to fix the tenure and salaries of state and central information commissioners, will not only intrude into their independence but also promote patronage and lobbying for the posts, according to Wajahat Habibullah, India’s first Chief Information Commissioner. Currently, information commissioners have a fixed tenure of five years and their salaries m at ch t h o s e o f E l e c t i o n Commissioners. FULL INTERVIEW: P9 LS polls likely in December: Dinesh Flood alert issued for Belagavi dist BHUBANESWAR SINKS INTERVIEW were in those bags. At 10.30 pm, the location was sealed by the police,” he said. On Friday, the bags were opened by officials of the Income Tax department and Enforcement Directorate. They had cash of `3.90 crore, jewellery worth `7.80 crore, a Rolex wristwatch worth `15 lakh and a Peugeot wristwatch worth `30-35 lakh. The bags also contained about 6 files pertaining to dealings of properties around Devanahalli and Begur, and loose cheque leaves and a cheque book which had been signed. The IT and ED officials have seized the belongings and also raided the residence and offices of Kukreja. P 6 Rao told mediapersons after a strategy session with his party district unit heads. The BJP leadership is worried about opposition unity and they know if the polls are held next year they will not be able to win many seats in north Indian states like they did in 2014, Rao said. He expressed confidence that the next government at the Centre will be “non-BJP”. Rao, who recently took over as president of the state unit, said they have already started the work to strengthen the party at block level and will soon revamp the party at all levels including state, district and block units. “We have asked for reports on functioning of district and block units by August 15. After getting the reports, necessary changes will be made,” he said. Senior party leaders, including Rao, CWC member Siddaramaiah, DyCM G Parameshwara and AICC general secretary-incharge of Karnataka K C Venugopal will hold meetings with leaders from all 28 LS segments for three days from August 3. P5
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